Family Film Reviews Children’s Movie Reviews

  • Soul Surfer

    Soul Surfer

    “I was born to two diehard surfers: how could I not have salt water in my veins?” Looking back on how she came to love the sea and surfing, 13-year-old Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) describes something like a perfect childhood: long hours in the sun, lots of support from her super-tanned parents (Tom, played by Dennis Quaid, and Cheri, played by Helen Hunt) and older brothers (Ross Thomas and Chris Brochu), and a best friend, Alana (Lorraine Nicholson), with blond hair and a competitive spirit to match her own.

  • Hop

    Hop

    Like a lot of teenagers, EB (voiced by Russell Brand) doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps. Unlike most teenagers, he has fur and long ears. His father is the Easter Bunny (Hugh Laurie), you see, and EB wants to play the drums instead. In pursuit of his dream, the young bunny leaves the Easter candy factory on Easter Island (a factory plainly mimicking Willy Wonka’s much more imaginative factory) for Hollywood.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

    When last we saw Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) — just one year ago — he was completing his first year of middle school. Now, he and his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) are no longer lowly sixth graders, but instead, confident seventh graders. Or... mostly confident. As Greg reveals in his voice-over, he’s still plagued by self-doubts and determined to prove that he’s not.

  • Mars Needs Moms

    Mars Needs Moms

    Like a lot of nine-year-olds, Milo (Seth Green’s captured motion, Seth Dusky’s voice) thinks his mother (Joan Cusack) is too hard on him. She wants him to take out the garbage, shut the front door behind him, and eat his broccoli, not to mention forgive his father (Tom Everett Scott) when he doesn’t make it home as promised, because his plane is grounded by bad weather. Still, Milo worries when his frustration leads him to say something he doesn’t really mean, namely, “My life would be so much better if I didn’t have a mother.”

  • Beastly

    Beastly

    As his name suggests, Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) is an heir apparent. His dad Rob (Peter Krause) is a TV newsman, focused on his career and, even more intently, his appearance. Of this Kyle is reminded daily, as his dad’s face is emblazoned on billboards and bus-sides, while the real thing barely glances his way at the kitchen table, because he’s too engrossed in his BlackBerry.

  • Rango

    Rango

    At the start of the movie named for him, Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) has no name. A chameleon living inside a glass tank, he’s surrounded by plastic objects — a tree, a doll’s torso, a fish — and, inside his extremely limited universe, he’s quite able to entertain himself inside his tank. But one day, as he’s riding in his tank in the back seat of his human family’s car, a traffic mishap lands him on the highway, surrounded now by shattered glass.

  • I Am Number Four

    I Am Number Four

    Tall, athletic, and tanned, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) looks like other high school boys in the movies. What his classmates don’t know, however, is that he’s an alien from another planet, and moreover, that he’s an alien being pursued by other aliens.

  • Gnomeo & Juliet

    Gnomeo & Juliet

    “The story you are about to see has been told many times before,” announces a garden gnome. This version will be different, he insists, just before he begins to read the “long, boring, prologue” concerning star-cross’d lovers. If his prodigiously pointy hat and short stature didn’t clue you in before, his swift and slapsticky removal from the stage makes clear that Gnomeo & Juliet is not your regular Shakespearean tragedy.

  • The Green Hornet

    The Green Hornet

    As a child, Britt Reid (Joshua Chandler Erenberg) tries hard to please his father (Tom Wilkinson). But dad’s not only distracted by running the biggest newspaper in Los Angeles, the Daily Sentinel, he’s also demanding, expecting his boy to be perfect: “Trying doesn’t matter,” he barks, “If you always fail.” When he goes on to pull the head off Britt’s favorite superhero action figure, the boy’s fate is re-set: he will now do his best to annoy his father.

  • Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels

    In this very loose adaptation Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century satire, Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) works in a New York newspaper mailroom. Though he has a crush on the charismatic travel editor, Darcy (Amanda Peet), he’s reluctant even to speak to her, let alone ask her out, feeling daunted that she has a better job than his, making him feel like one of the “little people.”